Check that: Cats will lose 9

By: Steve Moss
By: Steve Moss

In a Tuesday post on this blog, I told you that as many as eight Wildcats will be leaving the UK basketball program, most of whom will pursue their dreams of playing in the NBA. Check that number: it's now at nine.

In a Tuesday post on this blog, I told you that as many as eight Wildcats will be leaving the UK basketball program, most of whom will pursue their dreams of playing in the NBA. 

Check that number: it's now at nine.

Five UK recruits, all playing in the McDonald's All-America game in Columbus, told me that John Calipari is now using playing time as a means to woo some of the nation's best high school ballers.  All said they were told five underclassmen would be exiting (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe). 

Larry Orton was quoted on Wednesday that his son was, in fact, entering the draft, despite a later statement from Daniel that he was merely weighing his options.

One recruit, Doron Lamb, even said Cal mentioned nine players would not be back (five underclassmen, plus three seniors).  One popular rumor is that Darnell Dodson will be the ninth.

We now know there's a distinct possibility that guard Dodson is leaving Calipari's team.  Cousins is quoted by DraftExpress.com, saying Dodson is putting his name into the NBA Draft, too.

That would leave Calipari with just four returning players from an Elite Eight team and a group of Cats that captured the Big Blue Nation's fancy. 

Brian Hood, father of UK guard Jon Hood, says his son is returning.  Hood says any talk of his son transferring is just that.

It's staggering to think that any team could lose nine players after one season. 

Calipari recently said on his weekly radio show that he will sign 5-6 players for next season.  Already, Enes Kanter and Stacey Poole, Jr. have committed.

For those interested in the recruiting scene, the next couple of weeks should be most interesting for UK fans.  It also could be a crucial time period for Calipari and any mometum this program has gained over the past year.  Certainly, Calipari, the ultimate salesman, will be put to the test.

Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.

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